What’s the Difference Between Getting Fired and Wrongful Termination?
People leave their jobs for a whole array of different reasons. On one end of the spectrum are those who voluntarily quit, perhaps taking better paying or more interesting jobs elsewhere. On another end are those who are laid off when their employer encounters financial difficulties. “Downsizing” is the term often used to describe this scenario. In between these poles is the wide and potentially complex domain of being fired.
From a legal standpoint, being fired can raise complex issues, explains Carlos Leach, an Orlando employment attorney, because the law distinguishes between legitimate and improper termination – which is formally known as “wrongful termination.” Leach, who is known as The Employment Attorney, specializes in cases involving wrongful termination.
The Orlando employment attorney Leach explains that the standards for wrongful termination are nuanced. Just as there are many different reasons why people leave their positions, so too are there countless different employment arrangements. Some employees are unionized, and decidedly difficult to fire. Others are classified as “at will,” and can be much more easily terminated. As the Orlando employment attorney explains, the particular employment arrangement can play a significant role in evaluating whether an employer had the lawful right to fire an employee.
Of course employee and employer conduct are paramount concerns. While it may be lawful to fire an employee who steals from an office and leaks trade secrets, one who is habitually late to work because of a substance abuse problem might be entitled to greater leeway.
There are certain scenarios, however, that are almost always unlawful. Leach raises the example of an employer who terminates an employee because of the worker’s religious practices, race, or gender, or in retaliation for the employee filing a complaint against his boss, or because the employee filed a worker’s compensation claim. Likewise, an employer may not fire his employees simply to make room for a relative or friend – or for any other capricious reason that is not directly related to the subject employee’s behavior or company exigencies.
As with any other legal matter, if you have concerns or doubts about the legality of a particular situation, or are facing a legal dilemma, it’s always a good idea to hire a competent lawyer. In the event that you’re dealing with an employment related matter, it’s crucial to find an attorney, like the Orlando-based Leach, who specializes in employment legal matters.
*Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this article as a legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances, and you should not act upon this information without seeking professional counsel. Publication of this article and your receipt of this article does not create an attorney-client relationship.